I’ve done plenty of different photoshoots in the past but never one like this.
I made the trip to Aerial Haven, the local Queens studio where I take lessons, to do a maternity shoot with my incredible friend Carol. Ideally, we would’ve done a shoot like this much sooner but the timing wasn’t on our side. Fortunately for us, Carol was able to continue taking aerial hammock classes throughout her pregnancy (under the supervision of her doctor) and she had the strength to pull off this photoshoot.
Can I get vulnerable with you for a minute?
This photoshoot gave me some imposter syndrome. We pulled inspiration from incredible photos taken by [@sriandjana]. I didn’t know how I’d be able to get the results we wanted with minimal equipment. So many maternity photographers have a permanent studio set-up with better lighting equipment and backdrops. I was working with two speed lights, a sheet, and some cardboard. 😭
As much as I prefer to not rely on Photoshop, it really helped us out in the end to create something visually close to our inspiration photos, with our own spin on things.
I’m always a little nervous about drawing inspiration, I’ve had a bad experience even though I’ve always given credit. While most art is derived from other things, you just never know how it will be perceived. I love and respect when artists are gracious and encouraging to those who are inspired by them.
This made my heart happy:
Since I started with photography in 2020, and started taking it seriously in 2021, all I wanted to do was collaborate. With other photographers, models, my friends, everyone. I was disappointed when a few didn’t take me seriously and didn’t support me, even though I gave myself up for free. That’s the thing: you learn as you go. Just because you support others in their endeavors, doesn’t mean they will or have to reciprocate, and you should never sell yourself short. Keep at it, find the good ones, and give everyone else some major FOMO.
On to the rest of the shots:
Carol nailed this shoot! It was hot. She is VERY preggers and basically, everything is uncomfortable for her right now. I can’t get over how badass she is. Special thank you as always to Laura and Aerial Haven, for creating a supportive and safe environment where women truly support women.
Here’s some more BTS for you:
This is what the images looked like out-of-camera, so you can get an idea of the bare bones I’m working with:
… and post processing:
See what I mean about relying on PS? I lit the backdrop to give that silhouette contrast I needed, and used another light to backlight Carol and the hammock. There are some people who always need to get new gear, and if you’ve ever wondered why photographers charge so much? It’s because this shit is so damn expensive. I’ve made it a game to work with what I have and challenge myself.
I hope you enjoyed this post! I look forward to sharing more recaps with you on future projects. Keep an eye out on my YouTube channel for more content and don’t forget to hit that subscribe button. Thanks for reading, and congratulations Carol! 💖
A fun and inexpensive way to add a little spice 🌶 to your photos! I did this with fairy lights which are smaller than standard Christmas lights, but I bet those would work too!
First, I did a quick test to see what the depth of field would look like by scotch taping one end of the string lights to the side of my lens:
You can even do this with your phone camera. For the final project we chose a time that had more daylight, it worked out better with a friend to help by holding one end of the string lights in front of the camera for all the dreamy bokeh you can stand.
Here’s the final edit:
What do you think of this idea?
For more Wendy, catch up on the latest episode of her podcast, Give Our Take.
I’ve been getting a lot of questions lately about my photography workflow, which I will make a separate video about soon. Since a ton of you have been asking how I am able to upload seemingly high quality photos to Instagram, here are a few of the things I do:
1️⃣ I hardly ever shoot with my phone camera. Not that these aren’t excellent these days, but this is just what I prefer. I mainly shoot on my Sony A7iii, but most importantly always in RAW format. It’s a larger quality format that holds more editing information.
2️⃣ Editing Apps: Listen, I used to be a VSCO girl too, and apps like that or Tezza are a great start. These days, I make all my edits manually using Lightroom Classic and Photoshop so I have more control.
‼ 3️⃣ EXPORT SETTINGS: This one might be the most important yet. You never want to upload a photo that is a small file or poor quality, that goes without saying. You do also want to be mindful if you’re using Photoshop or Lightroom not to fall victim to Instagram’s compression. If your file is too large this will happen, so make sure you crop/export to the 4×5 ratio at 1080 x 1350.
Make sure you have the settings selected I mention in the Reel and you’re golden! 🥇
For more Wendy, check out the latest episode of the Give Our Take podcast.
I watched my boyfriend Dr. Nebraska patiently dig his car out of 17 inches of dense snow this morning. I kept peeking out the window to check his progress (and to make sure he was OK… we live on a busy street.) I think it was only a matter of minutes before the coat came off and he was breaking a sweat.
The kind of snow that hit the Tri-State was a dense, wet snow. Fun for snowpeople and snowball fights… challenging to clean up though.
After the day was done, we decided to go outdoors and have a little fun. My snow pants don’t exactly button up anymore (thanks pandemic), but with the coat over it no one could tell and we had a little snowball throwing… AND we paid respect to this beautiful snow woman I wish I could take credit for!